Firefighters battle major blaze in Ripon - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Firefighters battle major blaze in Ripon

Posted:
Source: WBAY Source: WBAY

RIPON, Wis. (AP) -- Fire has damaged three retail buildings in downtown Ripon and displaced second-floor tenants.

Red Cross officials say the agency is providing services to at least five families who were safely evacuated from the upper floors.

Ripon Fire Chief Tim Saul says the fire started about 3 a.m. Wednesday. About 30 agencies were paged for mutual aid in fighting the blaze.

Action Reporter Media (http://fondul.ac/1hMs8RH ) says downtown business owners came to the scene to open their doors and help firefighters warm up in single-digit temperatures.

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RIPON (WKOW) -- A structure fire that began around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday has spread to three buildings.

The building on fire is on Watson St. in downtown Ripon, just a few blocks away from the birthplace of the Republican Party.

The majority of the fire has been knocked down, according to fire officials. And they evacuated eight people from the buildings without any injuries.

Officials told our affiliate WBAY in Green Bay that the buildings house businesses on the first floor and apartments above. They believe the fire started in the basement of one of the buildings.

Dozens of fire and police departments, as well as the American Red Cross, are at the scene.

Local businesses have also opened their doors to provide assistance to crews responding in the cold weather.

People should use alternate route for travel and avoid the downtown area, according to the Ripon Police Department's Facebook page. Fire officials say the area will be closed all day.

27 News' Milwaukee affiliate station WISN is attempting to send a chopper to the scene. We will have more updates as we get more information.

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